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Cameroon Transport Union Ends Strike, Violence Continues


Demonstrators have marched through the streets of western Cameroon to protest high fuel and food prices, despite calls from a transport workers union to end a strike that has sparked deadly clashes.

Government authorities and union leaders reached an agreement late Tuesday to end a taxi drivers' strike Wednesday, after the government agreed to make small reductions in fuel prices.

But witnesses say protesters continued today to fill the streets of the capital, Yaounde, and Cameroon's main city, Douala, to demand larger price cuts.

Clashes between police and demonstrators have killed at least six people this week.

Protesters are also rallying against a proposal to eliminate term limits for President Paul Biya, who has been in power since 1982.

The government has condemned the violence and has asked for calm.

Cameroon's constitution requires Mr. Biya to step down when his term expires in 2011. However, analysts say his party's majority in parliament will give him enough votes to end presidential term limits.

Demonstrators have also protested the government's closure of a private television station that broadcast opposition views.

The shutdown of Equinoxe TV last Thursday came a few days after the station broadcast a debate over whether to extend President Biya's 25-year rule.

The government says the station was closed for failing to pay its broadcast licensing fee.

But a number of local journalists say the closure was linked to Equinoxe's coverage of the public debate about the proposed constitutional amendment.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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